2017 Semifinalist
Winners:
County of Wilson, NC
January 1, 2017
Jurisdiction:
North Carolina

The Success in Schools initiative of the Wilson County Department of Social Services ensures that teen parents are able to navigate becoming a nurturing parent while working towards high school graduation by providing case management and concrete support services. Success in Schools is designed to address Wilson County’s graduation rate, and strengthen the parenting ability of the teens receiving services by focusing on academic success and providing varied learning opportunities with a goal of interrupting a cycle of poverty at its earliest stages. Implemented in 2008, Success in Schools leverages the county’s childcare subsidy to allow social workers to provide intensive case management services with teen parents. This approach allowed the agency to address teen pregnancy, the high school dropout rate, and poverty in an innovative manner. By engaging community stakeholders like the local school district, the the county health department, and community health-care providers, the initiative provides specific supportive services as well as concrete guidance on implementation through a Community Advisory Council. This work has not only shown consistent progress with regard to the county’s high school dropout rate but also has grown to serve teens with an evidence-based curriculum called Partners for a Healthy Baby.